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Kym Tuvim: Reviews

"Soulful and introspective, Tuvim has a rich, commanding voice."
"We first caught Kym Tuvim opening for Tish Hinojosa at the Tractor a couple of years ago, and were so spellbound with her soulful observational songs that we tucked her name away in our memory and vowed to pay more attention to her career. Since then, of course, she's been locked up in a studio working on a follow-up record to her 2003 release On the Mend.
The result of those couple of years of work is Nothing Sweet Nothing, where she furthers her musical journey with another collection of lovely, exquisitely well-arranged tunes that call to mind artists like Kris Delmhorst and Catie Curtis."
I am sensing real growth and maturity from this Seattle area singer/songwriter. So much in fact that this standout CD sets the bar high for future work. Her band is spot on, her lyrics personal and engaging, the mood sort of dark but resonates with simmering passion. Delicate but with fire underneath.
Kym Tuvim continues the blues streak with her latest “Nothing Sweet Nothing” (Retrofit). Pedal and lap steel guitars figure prominently on a number of the tracks. But even more essential is Tuvim’s rich and hearty voice, one that is custom-made for singing her blue-tinged compositions. Among the more irresistible originals are the swaying “Pendulum,” the airy “In My Head,” the deep “Flood” and the piano and vocal of “Reservoir.” Tuvim’s lovely reinvention of “The More I See You” will make you want to listen to it more.
If Nothing Sweet Nothing is anything, it is soulful. From the first track, “Mystery,” to the last, “Sweet Nothing,” this CD is deeply satisfying. Local talent Kym Tuvim is a gifted singer/songwriter who’s hooked up with some of Seattle’s finest for this recording. Tuvim’s singing and songwriting is being compared to Joan Armatrading, Traci Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, and Phoebe Snow. The musicianship on this CD matches Tuvim’s vocals in terms of its many layers of rich, bluesy, sensual evocativeness. I couldn’t pick a highlight. Every song shines and every song stands on its own... Tuvim writes as well as she sings; her lyrics are accessible but never clichéd. Maybe there is no end to the ways a love song can be written. Nothing Sweet Nothing is, after all, a CD of love songs, but there’s no shortage of variety here. The only thing consistent throughout this CD is the quality. This may be homegrown, but word of Kym Tuvim is out and she is beginning to get the well-deserved national airplay and acclaim she deserves.
(From forthcoming April, 2008 Issue)
"Kym Tuvim's music is so intuitive and deeply felt, so eloquent in its lyrics and so lovely in its musicianship, you just want to strip to the skin and dive in."
Somehow, Kym Tuvim can make a studio of high-tech equipment sound as intimate as a back porch or someone’s home...Her three song set on WERS proved that despite the lush instrumentation on her newest album, Nothing, Sweet Nothing, her songs still have the legs to thrive in a stripped down setting. Accompanied by Richard Gates, who offered some of the most subtle yet effective bass work laid to tape, Tuvim laid herself bare through song in the studio with her tales of love and all of its intricacies...It seems that no matter what Kym Tuvim hears, her end result will be nothing short of awesome.
Seattle-based Tuvim is a rarity in modern folk-pop: a young, moody singer-songwriter truly in touch with the roots of American music. Soul, blues and pop all filter through her husky, knowing voice.
Classically trained and well versed in a variety of genres, Kym Tuvim summons her disparate influences on her excellent third album, tapping into homespun folk, trad jazz, swampy blues and ethereal soundscapes along the way. With a knowing perspective reminiscent of Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and Aimee Mann, her songs practically seethe with sensuality.

Consequently, Nothing Sweet Nothing offers an instant connection, from the easy, loping “Pendulum” to a skittish, spirited “Birdsong.” Even when she settles into a slow, measured drift (as in the case of the easy duo “Reach” and “Reservoir”) or frays things around the fringes (a tack she takes on the tangled twosome “Mystery” and “Skin Muscle Bone”), Tuvim maintains an open embrace. Ultimately, Nothing Sweet Nothing is nothing if not delightful.
The songs on Tuvim's new record Nothing, Sweet Nothing are intimate, haunting and go straight to the heart.
In Michael Pollan's latest book, "In Defense of Food," he offers some sage advice: avoid "edible foodlike substances." You know, stuff you can eat, but shouldn't. Food that isn't really food. The junk that fills every convenience store in the land. The same advice could be applied to music: Avoid "listenable musiclike products." You know, the junk that comes from major labels and commercial radio stations across the land. Thankfully there are true artists out there serving up real music. Like Kym Tuvim. This immensely gifted Seattle singer-songwriter cooks up a satisfying and nourishing platter of folk fusion on her third release, "Nothing Sweet Nothing." It's a well structured, balanced and meticulously prepared musical meal gorgeously presented in eco-packaging. The main ingredient is decidedly Tuvim's deep and hardy voice that smolders, burns and boils, depending on what the song calls for. Like Tracy Chapman's, Tuvim's voice has blues deep in its soul, yet is unafraid to get charged up for the more rocking tunes or express touching tenderness and settled sensuality. The opening track, "Mystery," is one – and a good one at that. A lazy, fingerpicked guitar brings out the delta blues flavor that's nicely balanced by shimmering cymbals and Tuvim's robust, breathy voice detailing a "bittersweet mess." The sprite "Birdsong" seamlessly melds together Americana and thoughtful pop while the following "Blue," with its string sections, heart tugs and feel of Annie Lennox's "Cold" instantly becomes a comforting old friend. A strolling and ruminative Bonnie Raitt comes to mind during "Flood," and the charming "Far Away" shows off Tuvim's love of traditional jazz. "Nothing Sweet Nothing" is really something – something to be savored, enjoyed and shared, just like real, delicious food.
Scott D. Lewis - Jonezin' Music
A mix of jazz, blues and folk, I guarantee you will be hooked within 2 minutes into the first song of this excellent CD. She sings in a lower register not unlike Tracy Chapman or Joan Armatrading and it just sounds so good in front of her solid backing band. This jumps out to a big lead for best indie artist of 2008.
It's a given that so many singer-songwriters cite Joni Mitchell as an influence. They should also listen to Kym Tuvim. She's that good....She's no pop diva thank God but Tuvim knows her way around a hook -- that part that you'll be humming to yourself long after the disc stops spinning... Get this disc. And if you're a musician? Study it and hope you can be this good.
Kym Tuvim's Nothing Sweet nothing short of a perfectly written, produced and performed work of art.
With vocals that rival the pure emotion of Carrie Newcomer and arrangements that recall the inventive range of Janis Ian, Kym Tuvim's eclectic new disk "Nothing Sweet Nothing" should have been titled "Everything! Sweet! Everything!"
I had seen Kym’s name before, but for some reason I hadn’t heard her music. When I checked out “Nothing Sweet Nothing,” I immediately wondered, where have I been?? It’s just the kind of musical collection I am always seeking out. First of all, the melodies are beautiful, with some unexpected turns, a nice combination. The arrangements are imaginative & contain plenty of impressive guitar playing, a source of nourishment to me. And, the songs are smart, the narratives engaging. And Kym has a sweet & powerful voice. I have found myself liking & playing one song after another. What a delightful find.
Rich vocals, delicately produced (as opposed to over-produced) to showcase the arrangments and her fine piano work, and as always her strong songwriting. Kym Tuvim's latest is well worth waiting for.
This is a subtly complex set of pieces which showcase a sultry voice. Lots of pleasure in the listening.
Kym Tuvim has made her home state of Washington proud. Her latest project has made a fan out of this Texan. From the first song, showcasing Tuvim’s acoustic guitar and vocal talent, to the last song, a wonderful instrumental, this CD is a must-listen.
Kym was given the gift of song in her voice and smart in her head. "Nothing Sweet Nothing" only turns up the volume on her greatest qualities in both areas as she lets us into a quaint and beautiful place.
...a remarkable performer. She didn't bounce all over the place or boogie behind her guitar, and she didn't need to. Her songs were thoughtful, provocative, and relatable. Her voice was solid, strong, and soaking with soul.
Kym Tuvim has a huge voice, one that fills rooms. It pulls you in the instant you hear it.
Understated brilliance...In Tuvim's music, [there's] a strange sense of everything being in the right place that can only come from honesty and authenticity in songwriting.
Intelligent and articulate...intensely personal and introspective... It's an approach and a sound that recalls Ani DiFranco's fierce independence and the warm accessibility of Tracy Chapman and Shawn Colvin. Overall, On The Mend, is thoughtfully accessible and easy to recommend.
...A singer/songwriter with a robust sound...truthful lyrics and earthy pipes....a CD with great consistency from track to track, enough surprises to avoid sounding the same, impressive musicianship and overall staying power. Tuvim’s a smart enough songwriter, and too adroit with her band, to need any tricks to make a name. It’s the full package that makes Tuvim a nice find.
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